Page images

SAN FRANCISCO'S HARBOR IS IN CONTROL OF A STATE BOARD. This body is constructing concrete and steel piers and a sea wall, in preparation for handling the Panama business

when the canal is opened.

Orient. That is the supreme meaning of ing several thrifty little towns—to the the event."

sea coast. Now Los Angeles has a harThat's the way they talk about it out bor that it claims is one of the best on on the western coast line. The canal is the western coast, at what formerly was expected to open new trade routes and San Pedro. steamers will be compelled to call at At a conservative estimate ten millions ports now enjoying little commerce. So of dollars will have been spent on this the westerners have resolved to get their harbor when the plans now contemshare of the Oriental trade as well as to plated are carried out. The city itself hit the railroads a mighty swat and has just voted a bond issue of $3,000,000 reduce the cost of living. The railroads, for municipal wharves and fills. The however, are not sleeping and at every Federal government has spent $3,000,000 Pacific Coast seaport they are making more in building one of the longest preparations to handle greatly increased breakwaters in the country to protect business when the canal is opened.

what is known as the outer harbor. If you haven't a harbor of your own,

This breakwater has been the making reach out and get one, that's the policy of San Pedro harbor. · It is 9,250 feet of these progressive westerners.

The in length and on the outer end a lightthriving city of Los Angeles found it house shows the mariner the way to had built up a great center of trade in refuge. Between the concrete wall and spite of the fact that it was not a sea- the shore is a trestle 1,800 feet long and port. But not satisfied with this it cast this space will be filled for docking purlonging eyes toward the Pacific, fourteen poses. With this protective wall a harmiles to the westward. So what does it bor of 375 acres has been made. With do but annex this strip of land—includ- the channels and the inner harbor 200



The city will spend $25.000.000 in improving this.



acres more of harbor space has been tariff. Freight also may be sent to made available with a depth at low water Europe at correspondingly lower rates. of thirty feet.

According to the figures of the seaWith these improvements the Los port cities, the inland region should be Angeles harbor will have twenty miles able to take advantage of the all-water of water front, which can be doubled by route. Salt Lake, for instance, should the construction of piers without dis- be able to transport freight, via Los turbing the present harbor system. Angeles and the canal to New York at

In addition to the public improvements a saving of $14 a ton on the present on the Los Angeles harbor the great schedule. Parts of Arizona could save private corporations are preparing to $19 a ton. increase their facilities for handling the But as said before Los Angeles is not Panama Canal trade. About 250 acres the only Pacific Coast seaport that exof land will be made by filling at a cost pects to benefit by the Panama Canal. of $3,000,000 by private concerns. The After a fight against the Southern Southern Pacific railroad has completed Pacific railroad for the control of its what is claimed to be the longest slip in water front, which has been waged for the United States. It is 2,100 feet long more than thirty years, Oakland has won and 250 feet wide.

and now is preparing to spend millions As for Los Angeles' grip on the of dollars in the establishment of muPanama business, the southern Califor- nicipal docks and terminals to equip nians figure this way: As for an entrance properly this port for handling ocean into a harbor what better could be asked commerce now existing and the great than a space 4,000 feet wide with a depth trade expected to develop with the openof from thirty-eight to forty-eight feet ing of the canal. and no rocks or sandbars? But the most The people of Oakland recently voted important of all is the fact that Los $2,500,000 in bonds to begin the work, Angeles is seventy miles from the great but the plans of the harbor commission circle route between Panama and the call for an ultimate expenditure of Orient. By going a little more than one $25,000,000. For years it has been the hundred miles out of their course, the chief ambition of the Oakland people to vessels traveling between Atlantic ports own their own wharves and control their and the Far East can deliver and receive shipping facilities. This has been the freight in the richest section of the political issue on which elections have south.

been won and lost. And it was the power The Los Angeles people say there are of the Southern Pacific against which two benefits their city should derive from the people had to battle. these facts. First, the direct all-water All this muss was caused by the little connection between the Pacific and At- hamlet of Oakland giving Horace W. lantic seaboards, in which all ports on Carpentier a fifty-year grant to the the Pacific Coast should participate, but water front in exchange for a frame Los Angeles most of all. Second, Los schoolhouse twenty by thirty feet. CarAngeles should be the port of call of all pentier sold this grant to the Central vessels coming through the canal and Pacific Railroad and its allied corporacrossing the Pacific.

tions and from that day until the grant Then as to the swat that these west- expired, recently, the water front of erners expect to take at the railroads. Oakland has been in the control of the Los Angeles is taken as an example of Southern Pacific. how it is figured on the Pacific Coast that But now Oakland is free. It has the overland transportation lines will be thrown off the yoke of the corporation hit. It is expected that goods may be sent and is prepared to hit back with a venfrom New York to the Pacific Coast for geance. When the Southern Pacific was $6 a ton by way of the canal. The pres- compelled to accept a franchise, last ent rail rate on oranges for instance from October, permitting the corporation to Los Angeles to New York is $23 a ton. use a portion of the water front for Therefore products may be shipped by wharves, docks and other terminal facilwater at about one-fourth the present ities, the long battle had at last been ended with the city of Oakland the 9,750 feet; municipally owned, 21,730 victor.

feet; disputed, but likely to go to the In the inner harbor of Oakland, for city, 8,000 feet. the dredging of which the Federal gov- But even with the Oakland city government recently appropriated an addi- ernment building municipal wharves and tional million and a half dollars, the first shipping facilities, the railroads also are big municipal work is to be done. A preparing for the Panama Canal trade. concrete quay 2,900 feet long will be The Western Pacific is under contract to built along the north shore and the space expend five millions of dollars; the Key between this and beach will be filled. On Route railroad and the big wharf and this fill warehouses will be constructed dock concern of which F. M. Smith, the and a belt line railroad will be operated "borax king” is the head, will spend five on the edge of the quay.

millions more, each; and the Southern Along this quay the city will expend Pacific will spend $4,000,000 to $5,000,almost the entire $2,500,000. The only 000 on improvements to its already big other work to be undertaken with this docking facilities. appropriation will be on what is known With the amounts shipyard concerns as the Key Route basin and the south- and others are spending it is estimated west front, between the Southern Pacific fifty millions of dollars will be expended and Western Pacific railroad moles. A in Oakland harbor in the next five years. bulkhead will be constructed on the Key The municipal wharves will be equipped Route basin and the land behind this with the latest improvements for handfilled, giving 300 acres of land available ling freight, including electric cranes. for warehouses, streets and terminal And this feature is one of the strong facilities. The land will be made by the arguments to be advanced by Oaklanders silt taken up by the dredger in front of in favor of their harbor. They declare the bulkhead in order to make the deep that even though rival ports charge less water channel in which wharves can be for docking facilities, the Oakland constructed.

wharves will be the cheapest in the end When the present plans of the city for vessels because of the speed and have been finished, there will be in use cheapness with which cargoes may be along the Oakland water front proper, handled. eight and one-half miles of wharves. Across the bay from Oakland, the big And even then Oakland has not ex- city of San Francisco is preparing to hausted its resources and many more retain its hold on the Oriental commerce miles of water front can be made available and also is getting ready to bid for its for handling commerce. In all, the Oak- share of the Panama Canal trade. landers declare they will have twenty-six Already a bond appropriation of two miles of water frontage when the plans million dollars has been expended. No are carried out.

sooner did the people of the bay city Oaklanders, like all good Pacific find that this money had gone into dockCoasters, are exceedingly sensitive on all ing facilities than another appropriation matters pertaining to their harbor. The of nine millions of dollars was voted. statement by the commissioner of cor- This is the fund with which the work porations in his report to the secretary will be continued. of commerce and labor, “that the three The improvements in San Francisco's transcontinental railroads will have vir- harbor consist in building a concrete seatual control of all practical water front wall parallel with the shore line and except that owned by individuals,” filling in the space between, making a stirred up a hornets’ nest in the Cali- large area of seawall lots. From the seafornia city. The statement was chal- wall, piers have been built and others are lenged immediately and figures submit- being constructed, at right angles to the ted to show the commissioner did not wall. These piers are the most modern know what he was talking about. And known to engineers. They are conthis is the way the Oaklanders figured structed of concrete and steel. Not even out their control of the water front; wooden piling is used; but steel cylinders railroads and privately owned frontage, are sunk and the cement placed in them.

[graphic][ocr errors]


View looking scaward toward the outer harbor.

A belt line railroad is operated in con- way for the increase of trade expected nection with these other facilities. All when the Panama Canal is opened. Portthese are under the supervision of the landers consider their city to be a seastate board of harbor commissioners. port and practically speaking it is, but

The warehouses, piers, belt line rail- theoretically it is a river port. But notroad, etc., are the property of the state withstanding the fact that it is located and are operated by the state board so far up the Columbia and Willamette as to return a profit on the investment. rivers, it bids for a big share of the

The water front line under jurisdiction western slope trade. Portland's chief of the state board at present is eight claim on commerce is through its immiles long and five miles of berth space mense grain and lumber trade. At Portis available. When the plans now con- land's doors the railroads dump their templated are carried out with piers 250 loads of grain from the interior and feet wide and 800 feet long, the contour Portland has ships waiting to receive the will be more than thirty-six miles in cargoes. length.

Portlanders expect when the canal At Portland, the metropolis of Ore- opens that they will get a large slice of gon, elaborate preparations are under the trade from the eastern coast for dis



It is over 9,000 feet long, with open trestle 1.800 feet long.



tribution. That's the reason they voted is the weapon with which Seattle will to expend two and one-half millions of hit the railroads and bid for the comdollars in harbor improvements imme- merce of the world. The Federal govdiately. They also have passed an ordi- ernment has been coaxed into appronance that places all wharves and dock- priating a couple of million dollars to ing facilities within the city limits under construct the locks necessary and the supervision of the city government. local government has enough money Private corporations also plan to expend available to do its share of the digging. something more than two millions in The plan is to dig a waterway from reclaiming land along the river front at Salmon Bay—which is a long arm reachPortland.

ing landward from Puget Sound—to Farther north on the shores of Puget Lake Union and then to connect Lake Sound, the young commercial giant of Union with Lake Washington. These the Northwest, Seattle, is struggling to two lakes are separated by a narrow strip free itself from the galling yoke of the of land, or were until recently when the corporations. To strike the railroads a last mud barrier was blasted away and mighty blow and also to reach out for the two bodies of water united. its share of the Panama Canal trade is At a recent election Seattle voted a the ambition of Seattle. And when this bond issue of $1,750,000 for the imambition is realized Seattle will have the provements to its harbor, including the most unique harbor in the world.

Lake Washington Canal project. When Seattleites have found that the narrow the canal is completed, which will be in strip of level land along their water less than three years, Seattle's present front, facing the Sound, has been gob- water frontage of ten miles will be inbled up by the railroads and other cor- creased to more than one hundred miles porations. So what do these Seattleites of available space fronting on deep, do but decide to make a great fresh navigable water. water harbor in the very heart of the city Another project that will be underand leave the salt water to the private taken with the bonds is that of filling in concerns, at least for a while.

more tide flats and dredging the DuwamThe Lake Washington Canal project ish waterway, which empties into the

« PreviousContinue »